Sports

LeBron reacts to ‘senseless’ UNLV mass shooting

LAS VEGAS — LeBron James said that it was “senseless” that nothing changes when it comes to gun control in the United States in the wake of Wednesday’s mass shooting on the campus of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas that left at least three victims dead.

“Yeah, my brother from back home texted me and told me to be safe out here because he heard about the shooting at UNLV,” James said during his news conference at T-Mobile Arena ahead of the inaugural in-season tournament semifinals Thursday, when his Los Angeles Lakers will take on the New Orleans Pelicans. “First of all, my condolences go to the families that lost loved ones, families and friends and everything.

“It just goes back to what I said before about guns in America. I think it’s such a longer conversation, but we keep dealing with the same story, this same conversation every single time it happens, and it just continues to happen. The ability to get a gun, the ability to do these things over and over and over, and there’s been no change is literally ridiculous. It makes no sense that we continue to lose innocent lives, on campuses, schools, at shopping markets and movie theaters and all type of stuff. It’s ridiculous.

“The fact that we haven’t changed anything — it’s actually been easier to be able to own a firearm. … It’s stupid.”

Later Wednesday, the NBA released a statement about the shooting.

“The NBA family is heartbroken by today’s senseless shooting at UNLV,” the statement read. “We extend our sincerest condolences to the families and friends of the victims, as well as the entire Las Vegas community.”

The league is also planning a moment of silence ahead of Thursday’s semifinals games in recognition of the tragedy, but there isn’t an expectation that its schedule will be impacted this week.

Wednesday’s attack at about 11:45 a.m. PT, which took place only a few miles away on the famous Strip from the 2017 massacre that killed 60 country music fans and wounded hundreds more, sent police swarming onto the campus while students and professors barricaded themselves inside classrooms and dorm rooms.

Authorities gave the all-clear about 40 minutes after the first report of an active shooter. Adam Garcia, a university police official, said officers found and “engaged” a suspect, who is now dead. It was not immediately clear how the suspect died.

Police did not immediately release any details about the victims, the suspect or a possible motive.

James has been a vocal advocate for gun control and reform for years, joining a consistent stream of voices from the NBA – including Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr – on the issue whenever mass shootings have taken place across the country pleading for the government to make changes to the nation’s gun laws.

The Lakers will play in the second of two semifinals here Thursday, with the Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers playing beforehand. The winners of both games will meet in the tournament’s championship game Saturday evening.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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